Getting lost inside the whirling vortex of available online journals, TED talks and podcasts in the name of research, it has become increasingly noticeable at just how much our priorities, opinions and direction have shifted. As humans, as citizens, as millennials, as adults, as women.
While undertaking said research for an upcoming speaking engagement in Morocco about reigniting our passions I've discovered countless messages of women with the most powerful of stories, most memorably those of authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Sisonke Msimang as they explore the dangers and repercussions of telling a single story - a topic now more relevant than ever especially within the last 24 hours and the series of events that unfolded with the attempts to suppress and hinder a people with gross misjudgement and marginalisation. “Show people as one thing over and over again, and that's what they become.”
The tension and desperation in recent times is palpable and abrasive, emphasised through the glowing screens of our devices that have past served as blurred, curated lenses to reality. Now, however, the curtains of obscurity are slowly being swept aside and we are utilising the interconnected web of social media as a vehicle to shout our opinions and values through a metaphorical megaphone, heard by men and women all around the globe providing a refreshing sense of clarity. And that's something to celebrate.
In a tumultuous, fragile climate such as ours where, most recently a unified, powerful display of solidarity and support was egregiously diluted and dismissed, these instances serve as only fuel to speak louder and stronger in unison moving forward.
Although fashion seems a trivial and superficial topic to consider and discuss in such a climate, I am reminded that it also serves as an instrument that can empower, strengthen and encourage. Women should be celebrated after all. Australian designer Toni Maticevski continues to do just that, season after season consistently sculpting, shaping and carving silhouettes with a fluid and precise discipline. Fashion is, you see, one of the few industries that we have accomplished a greater level of gender equality and when considered as an art form (take Maison Margiela's couture collection for instance) it is a wonderful celebration of the pure essence and quiet strength of the female spirit - and with that the beauty of duality and contrast. Maticevski is able to physicalise the quiet yet intense drama of a woman peeling back the layers of our intricacies. And that word 'drama' proves to be a pertinent choice of word to describe today - you see it listed alongside thrill, turmoil, excitement, sensation, adventure, and in that sense alone his designs serve as an apt tool to wear our thoughts and hearts quite literally on our sleeves.
It is this sensitive approach to design combined with Maticevski's deep knowledge and understanding of construction and technique that continue to showcase the influence (especially in setting a trend for ambitious young designers) of eschewing commercial pursuits in favour of creative, meaningful design. With that in mind I urge you to use your platforms and your vehicles - big or small, quiet or loud, no matter how seemingly small the impact may first appear - to tell your story. There is strength in numbers and many important stories that need no longer remain unheard.
Toni Maticevski SS17, Louis Vuitton Accessories
Photography, Styling: Kim Jones